Football preview: Hamilton (2-6) visits Bates (0-8) in season finale on Saturday

Captain Tyler Harrington and the Bates Bobcats take on Hamilton on Senior Day this Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (File photo by Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates football team will try to avoid its first winless season since 1996 and end Hamilton's three-game run of success against the Bobcats this Saturday at Garcelon Field, as Bates hosts the 41st Bates/Hamilton football game with a noon kickoff.

Prior to kickoff, the team will recognize the 18 seniors playing in their final game for the Bobcats.

At halftime, the Department of Athletics will recognize Bates' 22 All-American athletes from the 2017-18 academic year; the five members of the Class of 2018 receiving Senior Athletic Citations (Katherine Cook, Riley Ewing, Adedire Fakorede, Logan McGill, Teddy Pender), the 2018 male and female Athletes of the Year (Katherine Cook and Teddy Pender), and the Senior Sportsmanship Award winner (Jacqueline Forney).


THE PARTICULARS:
What: Hamilton (2-6) at Bates (0-8)
When: Saturday, Nov. 10, 12 p.m.
Where: Garcelon Field (Lewiston, Maine)
Live Coverage: Video | Stats
 All-Time Series: Hamilton leads 21-19
Previous Meeting: Hamilton 35, Bates 14 (Nov. 11, 2017 in Clinton, N.Y.)


HAMILTON LAST WEEK

Middlebury scored two touchdowns in the first six minutes of the first quarter and the Panthers never trailed in a 35-17 win against Hamilton on a cold, blustery Saturday afternoon at Hamilton's Steuben Field.

Hamilton scored all 17 of its points in the second quarter. The Continentals gained 351 yards of total offense but were flagged 13 times for 142 yards.

Hamilton freshman Joe Park led all rushers with 80 yards, and he doubled his season touchdown total with two scores. Kenny Gray was 19 of 40 passing for 180 yards with two interceptions and ran for 54 yards. Joe Schmidt totaled 62 receiving yards on eight catches.

Cole Burchill paced the Continentals' defense with 11 tackles and Sean Tolton had two tackles for a loss. Justin Leigh returned an interception 36 yards and Colby Jones brought one back 21 yards. Jones has nine career picks at Hamilton and Leigh has three.

Will Jernigan completed 21 of 36 passes for 246 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions and added 32 yards on the ground for the Panthers (5-3). Conrado Banky finished with 97 yards receiving and Frank Cosolito had two touchdown grabs.

BATES LAST WEEK

The Bobcats struck first but Bowdoin scored 24 unanswered points over the span of two quarters to take command of the game, defeating the Bates football team 31-14 Saturday night in Brunswick.

Nate Richam rushed 32 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Polar Bears to their first win over the Bobcats since 2010. Bo Millett added six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Captain Kyle Flaherty carried the ball 15 times for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Liam Spillane carried the ball 19 times for a team-high 57 yards, with a long run of 19 yards. First-year Jackson Hayes caught a pair of passes for 25 yards, and averaged 21.7 yards on six kickoff returns.

Without sophomore quarterback Brendan Costa, who missed the game due to an injury, Bates struggled on offense. The Bobcats were outgained by Bowdoin 252-167 on the evening.

On second and goal, Flaherty punched it in from four yards out to put the Bobcats up 7-0 with 8:33 left in the second quarter.

The Polar Bears tied things up later in the quarter thanks to a 12-play, 68-yard drive that culminated with a five-yard touchdown run from Richam. The score stood tied 7-7 at halftime but the Polar Bears took command in the third quarter.

It started with Joe Gowetsk intercepting a Bryant pass on the Bobcats' opening drive of the half. The Polar Bears converted the turnover into three points when Michael Chen made a 31-yard field goal.

The Bobcats went three-and-out on their next drive and Bowdoin took over at its own 31 after a Foley punt. Bowdoin's nine-play, 69-yard drive ended with a Richam touchdown run of seven yards to extend the Polar Bear lead to 17-7 with 7:10 remaining in the third.

Already up 10, the Polar Bears' Franny Rose on the Bobcats' next drive. Rose sacked quarterback Jack Bryant on third down, forcing a fumble. He fell on the fumble to give Bowdoin field position at the Bates 16-yard line. McCrum unleashed a touchdown pass to a wide-open Millett, putting Bowdoin up 24-7.

Bates cut the Bowdoin lead to 10 on its next drive, a 13-play, 74-yard effort. The Bobcats mostly used the ground game to march down the field, and Flaherty eventually punched it in from one yard out to make it 24-14 with 1:26 left in the third quarter.

But the Polar Bears had the answer, marching 81 yards on 11 plays on their next drive to extend the lead back to 17 points. McCrum ran it in from 11 yards out to make the score 31-14 and that's how the game ended, with the Bobcats recording just one first down on their final two drives.

LAST BATES/HAMILTON GAME

Sam Robinson returned the opening kickoff of the second half 87 yards for a touchdown to give the Hamilton the lead for good as Bates fell 35-14 in the Bobcats' season finale on Nov. 11, 2017 in Clinton, N.Y.

The Continentals (3-6) blanked the Bobcats (2-7) 21-0 in the third quarter in what turned out to be the difference in the game.

But before Hamilton's big third quarter, the two teams went toe-to-toe in a very close first half of action.

Marcus Gutierrez led the Continentals' offense with 134 yards rushing and a touchdown on 23 carries. Mitch Bierman added 48 yards and his sixth rushing touchdown. Kenny Gray threw for 262 yards on 22 of 34 passing with two touchdowns and one interception.

Bates scored on its first drive, with a 1-yard plunge by Kyle Flaherty. turned the ball over on downs at the Continental 27-yard line with just 51 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

As it turned out, that was enough time for Hamilton quarterback Kenny Gray. He completed five of six passes for 73 yards on the drive, and the lone incompletion was a pass he deliberately threw into the turf at the line of scrimmage to stop the clock. Gray found Joe Schmidt in the middle of the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown toss that Schmidt caught as he fell to his knees and was just out of reach of the defender in front of him with 11.8 seconds to go. Zach Altneu's PAT tied the score at 7-7.

The Continentals held the ball for 23 minutes and limited Bates to just 17 offensive plays during the final two quarters.

The Continentals took a 28-7 lead into the fourth quarter. On the first play of the quarter and Bates facing fourth-and-1 at the Hamilton 39, Golden appeared to run for a first down but Sam Bowen stripped the ball from Golden and Bryce Phillips fell on the loose ball at the 31.

Mitch Bierman rushed for 30 yards on the next drive as the Continentals grabbed a commanding 35-7 advantage. On first-and-10 from the Bobcat 12-yard line Bierman took a direct snap out of the Wildcat, bolted straight up the middle, and crossed the goal line standing up with 10:24 to go. A 21-yard pass from Gray to Waugh on third down was the key play of the drive.

Bates drove 72 yards in just 83 seconds on its next drive, which was capped by a 51-yard touchdown pass from Costa to senior Brian Daly with 8:59 left. Daly caught the pass near the 20 and ran untouched down the right side into the end zone.

The Bobcats never had another chance to cut into their deficit as Gutierrez took over and helped Hamilton hold the ball for the final 8:54. Gutierrez carried the ball 10 times for 55 yards on the final drive, which ended with the Continentals taking a knee at the Bates 6.

Costa completed 13-22 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon. Flaherty paced the Bobcat rushing attack with 12 carries for 62 yards and a score. Nichol caught five passes for 77 yards and Daly added three catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. Jon Lindgren led Bates on defense with 12 tackles.